Select a Pumpkin
"Pie pumpkins" are smaller, sweeter, less grainy textured pumpkins than the usual jack-o-lantern types. They're only about 8 inches in diameter. Yield: Pie pumpkins are small, usually only 8 inches in diameter. You can usually obtain 2 or 3 cups of puree per pumpkin. Other "eating" type pumpkins that our family enjoys are Jaradale and Fairytale.
Preparing the Pumpkin
Just like selecting any squash, look for one that is firm with no bruises or soft spots. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap. Cut the pumpkin in half.
Scoop Out the Seeds
Scrape the insides. You want to get out that stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface
Cooking the Pumpkin
There are several ways to cook the pumpkin; just choose your preferred method. Most people have microwaves, and they use the least energy, so I'll describe that here. But others make good arguments in favor of using a pressure cooker, steaming on the stovetop, or bakin in the oven. I'll focus on the mirowaving here, and at the end of this page, I've included alternative instructions to replace step 4, if you'd rather use a different method.
Put it in a microwaveable bowl, remove the stem, and put the pumpkin into the bowl. You may need to cut the pumpkin further to make it fit. The fewer the number of pieces, the easier it will be to scoop out the cooked pumpkin afterwards. Put a couple of inches of water in the bowl, cover it, and put it in the microwave.
Cook the Pumpkin Until Soft
Cook for 15 minutes on high, check to see if it is soft, then repeat in smaller increments of time until it is soft enough to scoop the innards out. Normally it takes 20 or 30 minutes in total. Note: You CAN cook it on the stovetop; it will just take longer (almost twice as long).
Scoop Out the Cooked Pumpkin
Using a broad, smooth spoon, gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin. It should separate easily if the pumpkin is cooked enough.
Mash or Puree the Pumpkin
To get a nice, smooth consistency, a food processor or food mill will work great. You can also use a regular blender.
Done With the Pumpkin!
The pumpkin is now cooked and ready for a recipe! To hold for later use, just pop it in the refridgerator or freezer (pack in containers, like Ziploc bags or plastic containers, exclude as much air as you can, and freeze it!)
Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, pumpkin, egg, and vegetable oil in a small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; batter may be lumpy. Heat griddle to medium heat; brush lightly with vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; cook until bubbles begin to burst. Turn and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with Pumpkin Maple Sauce and nuts.
Pumpkin Maple Sauce:
Heat the maple syrup, pumpkin, and ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice in small saucepan until warm